Written by Sandy Seay, Seay Management Consultants
Currently, government and public health experts are issuing warnings worldwide of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Regardless of employment regulations, this pandemic will present extraordinary circumstances that will result in major impacts on how you operate your business during this period of uncertainty. Strict adherence to leave policies helps to minimize exposure to risk in normal operating circumstances, but when a pandemic strikes, flexibility and consideration go a long way in maintaining good employees.
If you do choose to make exceptions, be mindful to not engage in discrimination - ensure that such exceptions are based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons and are consistently applied across the workforce. It is our hope that, by highlighting several key points, we can assist your business in preparing to deal with this pandemic. Click here to learn more.
As a benefit of membership, NPMA members can call, email or text Seay Management Consultants to speak with one of their HR consultants free of charge regarding any employment issue that arises in your business. Click here for a comprehensive menu of services provided.
OSHA recommends all employers have on file a complete Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP). This document should include anticipated responses to foreseeable workplace safety and health issues. Insperity recommends your IIPP include a response mechanism to address circumstances in which outbreaks of contagions affect your business. Click here to learn more.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidance for Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
OSHA has released Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic allowing for the extended use of respirators under certain conditions.
Additionally, OSHA has published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
State Specific Guidance:
This is intended to address serious situations (e.g., public health officials mandate quarantines of an entire city or parts of a city, or infections are so widespread that employees are afraid to come to work). As CDC and PHAC guidance indicate, the situation may change rapidly and there may not be much time to figure out these details in the event of a rapid spread of cases.